Do This Mid-Year FSA Check to Maximize Your Funds

June 19, 2018

We’re approaching the halfway point of the year and, for most of our Flexible Spending Account (FSA) participants, that means there are only six months to go until the end of their plan year. Don’t let the last date of your plan year (in most cases, that is December 31) sneak up on you! Now is a good time to evaluate your remaining FSA funds and take steps to make sure you spend all of your remaining funds before your plan year ends. We’ve compiled a few helpful tips for you to think about at the halfway point of this year.

Mid-year FSA checklist 

Review your FSA benefits plan

Before looking ahead to the rest of your plan year, it’s important to take a step back and review the guidelines surrounding your account. Check to see if your plan has:

  • A carryover, which allows you to carry over up to $500 of your funds into the next plan year.
  • A run-out period, which gives you a set amount of time (usually 90 days) after a plan year has expired to file claims and seek reimbursement. For example, if your plan year ends December 31, 2019, you would have until March 31, 2020, to file any 2019 claims.
  • A grace period, which gives you an additional two and a half months after a plan year has expired to incur eligible expenses, file claims and seek reimbursement. For example, if your plan year ends December 31, 2019, your grace period would extend your ability to spend FSA funds to March 15, 2020.

Load up on summer items

With nicer weather and longer days comes more time spent outdoors. Common summertime expenses such as sunscreen, medical cold packs and prescription sunglasses qualify as FSA-eligible expenses. See what other expenses qualify on this searchable eligible expense list.

Set up appointments now, ahead of the upcoming school year

Appointment co-pays and eligible expenses incurred at a doctor’s office for you or your dependents are great items to spend your FSA benefits on. If you have children, they may be required to undergo a back-to-school checkup or a physical to participate in sports or other after-school activities. Find out what appointments they need and schedule them today.

Create a year-end reminder

If you’re one of the 95 percent of Americans who owns a cell phone, set up a reminder in your phone or other mobile device for a month or two before the end of the plan year. This is a smart way to make sure you’re notified when December 31 (or whatever date the end of your plan year is) is approaching, and to remind yourself to use up your remaining dollars.

Download our mobile app

The Benefits Mobile App by Discovery Benefits is an easy tool to use to help you manage your account throughout the year. You can easily check your balance, file a claim and track expenses anytime and anywhere. Download it today on Apple or Android devices.

Learn more helpful tips on how to spend your funds by reading our FSA posts on our blog.

Note: This post was originally published in June 2018. It was updated for accuracy in May 2019.

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